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Ziauddin Sardar

Islam

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    Islam cannot be blamed for the action of the terrorists who attacked the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, any more than Christianity can be blamed for the gas chambers, or Catholicism for the activities of Irish terrorists. Terrorists follow their own twisted logic and exist outside normality and beyond reason. They are senseless men whose evil acts appal all people of conscience
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    The Islamization of knowledge debate has now become central to any discussion of the nature of Muslim identity, the impact of modernity on Muslim society and ways of thinking about the present and future Muslim reality
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    Rahman’s assertion that the development of Islamic law was not consistent with the ethical outlook of the Qur’an earned him as many friends as enemies.
    The overall consensus amongst Muslim scholars is that the Muslim world is in urgent need of new thought which
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    Muslim women scholars have now begun to question the gender-biased interpretations of the Qur’an, the traditions of the Prophet and the early history of Islam. Writers like Azizah al-Hibri, Amina Wadud-Muhsin, Fatima Mernissi, Riffat Hassan, Laila Ahmad, Aisha Abdul-Rahman, Merryl Wyn Davies and so many others, who have more than just a passing familiarity with the classical sources, are set to introduce genuine equality in Muslim thought and action.
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    But traditional thought and jurisprudence, as it has evolved, has undermined this goal as well as institutionalized injustices against women in the name of Islam
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    I realized that if all the different races snore in the same language, they must all be equal before god!
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    The movement that emerged from their efforts to give a modern identity to Islam, and provide Muslim societies with purpose and direction, came to be known as Salafism
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    His emphasis on social justice combined with popular mysticism, gained him an enormous following. Shah Wali Allah stressed the essential unity of all religions and tried to develop a modern Islamic philosophy of history.
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    Sensuality and sex ooze from this languorous Algerian odalisque by Renoir. The harem and its delights were a frequent resort for the imagination of 19th century painters and writers. Renoir painted this in 1870, nine years before he visited Algiers
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    Many of these writers – such as Richard Burton (d.1890), Isabelle Eberhardt (d.1904), T E Lawrence (d.1935) – went to the Muslim world either as spies or to seek sexual gratification denied them in Europe
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    One of the first acts of colonial rulers was to ban all intellectual, learned and educational activities. For example, when the Dutch took over Indonesia in 1595, they closed all madrasas, colleges and libraries and banned education. Natives were forbidden from entering the few libraries that the Dutch established for their own purposes
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    Zafar was exiled to Rangoon where he died in abject poverty and wrote some of the greatest poems in Urdu literature.
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    The adventures of Sindbad the Sailor reflect the realities of commerce and communications during the Abbasid period
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    Astronomy comes immediately after religion as the most noble and perfect science. It adorns the mind and sharpens the intellect, it makes man recognize God’s oneness. – Al-Battani in Opus Astronomicium.
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    His Optical Thesaurus is one of the most plagiarised texts in the history of sci
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    Five hundred years before galileo, al-baruni discussed the rotation of the earth on its axis; and al-battani measured the circumference of the earth!
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    Omar Khayyam (d.1123) solved third and fourth-degree equations by intersecting conics – the highest algebraic achievement of modern mathematics
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    The Thousand and One Nights, popular bawdy tales, not a literary masterpiece. But much used and abused by Western writers
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    The Mathnawi of Jalaluddin Rumi (d.1273), which took 43 years to write, is considered a Persian masterpiece
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    Ibn Rushd’s comeback, ‘The Incoherence of the Incoherence’, one of the most powerful defences of rationalism ever produced, could not save the day for the Mutazilites.
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